Social Networking Sites Are Leading the Youth Astray! Debate

On October 17, 2006, Megan Taylor Meier, an American teenager committed suicide by hanging three weeks before her 14th birthday. Her suicide was attributed to cyberbullying on MySpace by her friend’s mother, Lori Drew. An example for one of the worst effects of social networking. Honorable judges, teachers, friends & worthy opponents, I would like to share my views for the subject “social networking sites are leading the youth astray”. Two little words – “social networking” – have become a giant buzzphrase over the past couple of years.

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We can observe the worldwide march of social networks and headline-ready stories about Web-assisted suicides. I can think of atleast 13 disadvantages of social networking. 1) Too Addictive 2) Detrimental effects on physical & mental health 3) Lack of development of social skills 4) Time Consuming 5) True identity is not known 6) Lack of Privacy 7) Youth are distracted 8) Lack of Copyright Privileges 9) Scams & Harassment 10) Influence of Too many people 11) Spreading malware 12) Spreading hate among communities 13) Even inciting revolutions

Statistics show that there are more than 750 million active facebook users and an average user has 130 friends. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. An alarming amount of time is wasted on Social Networking sites by intelligent people. It has become a bona-fide addiction for many, negatively affecting their family relationships and even their work.. Since they no longer have time for friends or family or for outdoor games, it has serious detrimental effects on both physical and mental health.

Bored youngsters spend hours & hours reading their friends update’s, viewing photos & videos, gaming, and doing everything else but their homework. But do these social media sites really connect people? Don’t they rather disconnect them, since instead of doing something enjoyable such as talking and eating and partying with friends, they are merely exchanging little ungrammatical notes and amusing photos in cyberspace, while chained to their desk ?

There rarely is any real substance to these online friendships ( made through Social networking). True identity of a person is never revealed unless he is met in person. Since a complete analysis of a person’s behaviour cannot be made, social networking sites provide only a virtual image of these so called friends and not a real one. There is also too much manipulation and aggression involved with getting others to give up their age, location, real photos, and far too many details in public profiles.

There are others who are always in search for fake identity and may use your data for different types of illegal activities. Social networkers have only a virtual experience and very little real world experience. Because everything is now typed online, there is no longer any need for human emotions during communication over social media. Should our youth be couch-potatoes, twittering and chatting over social networks or grow up into productive citizens to build a stronger nation.? It is upto us to decide…


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